Last updateFri, 23 Oct 2020 6pm

An Update on U.S. Valve-Related Standards

It takes much time and effort by many people to upgrade existing codes and standards, or to develop new ones. The process begins when a parent standards organization (see below) forms a task group to work and prepare an initial draft or investigate proposed changes to an existing document.

Monitoring Valve Health via the Internet

Most valve end users are already using smart valve positioners on some control valves, but they may not have time to check the valve diagnostics software to notice if any valves are developing problems. Imagine instead simply getting a weekly report listing which valves need attention.

Studying What Went Wrong

In October of 2016, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its findings into the tragic 2013 explosion and fire at the Williams Olefin Plant in Geismar, LA that killed two workers and injured 167.

The incident occurred during non-routine operational activities that introduced heat to the reboiler, which was offline and isolated from its pressure relief device. The heat increased the temperature of a liquid propane mixture confined within the reboiler, resulting in a dramatic pressure rise within the vessel. The reboiler shell ruptured catastrophically, causing a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion and fire (Figure 1).

17 spr failure 1

The CSB investigation revealed deficiencies in the plant’s safety culture that resulted (among other things) in failure to manage appropriately or review effectively two significant changes. These changes introduced new hazards involving the reboiler that ruptured. The first was installation of block valves that could isolate the reboiler from its protective pressure relief device. The second was the administrative controls Williams relied upon to control the position (open or closed) of those block valves.

FEL: The Preferred Phase for Valve Technical Definition

A typical oil and gas capital project cycle consists of a process of structured stage gates that ensure activities are processed or completed in a logical sequence. Each gate serves as a verification point for deliverables and objectives to be evaluated to determine if they have been completed to a preset acceptable level before proceeding to the next stage.

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